Azim Premji Foundation

Contributing to a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society.

The Foundation’s vision is to contribute towards a more just, equitable, humane and sustainable society. Its work is focused on India.

Azim Premji set up the Foundation in 2001. Over the past years, he has irrevocably donated most of his wealth for philanthropic purposes and created a philanthropic endowment valued (as of Jan 2023) at approximately USD 29 billion (INR 2,40,000 crore) to fund the work of the Foundation. As part of this endowment, along with other assets, 66 percent of the economic ownership of Wipro Ltd is with the Foundation.

Foundation on-the-ground’

The Foundation does extensive and deep on-the-ground’ work across the country – both directly through its own operations and through partners. The work spans education to other important areas of equity and human well-being.

Foundation’s Field Institutions:

The Foundation works to improve the school education system in India, with a focus on the more disadvantaged areas of the country. The work ranges from teacher capacity development and leadership development to matters of policy and curriculum, including a significant contribution to the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 and National Curriculum Framework (NCF)— National Curriculum Framework for Foundational Stage (NCF-FS) 2022 and National Curriculum Framework for School Education (NCF-SE2023.

The Field Institutions are spread across 7 states with over 3,50,000 schools. In addition, the Foundation also works deeply with 7 states in the northeast of the country to help improve the equity and quality of the state school systems. Currently, there are 55 institutions in the field. The Foundation also runs 9 schools that strive to provide quality education with an emphasis on instilling constitutional values.

The Foundation’s own team of 1,500 people is spread across 250 locations. The Field Institutions are in some of the most disadvantaged districts of the country, each staffed with 10 – 60 members. The Foundation also runs 270 Teacher Learning Centres’, in these districts.

This deep institutional presence is now being leveraged by the Foundation to start work on Health and Livelihoods, starting with a few regions and then expanding.


The Foundation supports with multi-year financial and corpus grants, over 550 other not-for-profit organisations (NPOs) across the country, which do deep on-the-ground’ work across a range of issues — supporting people who are severely disadvantaged and marginalised with immediate care, access to essential services and the possibility of a dignified future. 

Some of these vulnerable groups are urban poor, persons with disability, women facing violence, adolescent girls at risk, children at risk, homeless, elderly poor, manual scavengers, migrant workers, farmers with marginal landholding, particularly vulnerable tribal groups and water-deficient communities.

This also involves collaboration with state governments and groups of NPOs to address issues systemically beyond immediate care and support. Some such collaborations are: in Odisha, an effort to improve nutrition and hygiene; in Andhra Pradesh, improving the livelihood of small and marginal farmers; in Tamil Nadu, setting up centres in district hospitals to rescue, treat and rehabilitate mentally ill homeless individuals and a multi-state programme to strengthen local governance and Panchayati raj institutions.


The Foundation is building a network of universities to contribute to capacity development and research for the social sector. 

The first Azim Premji University was set up in Bengaluru in 2010. Today it operates from a 110-acre campus. The second one, i.e., Azim Premji University, Bhopal, is now operational. The work on the third University in Ranchi is currently underway.

Azim Premji University, Bengaluru has been offering degree programmes since 2011. Its mandate is to run teaching programmes and conduct research to contribute to the social sector in India, and to be an exemplar higher education institution – with inclusion and quality.

The degree and short-term teaching programmes are focused on domains of human development, for example, Education, Livelihoods, Development, Governance and Policy, Public Health, and Sustainability. The undergraduate programmes offer a broad-based liberal education as envisioned in the NEP – along with fields of human development that are the overall focus of the University. The research programmes are designed for direct contribution to matters of policy and practice, in these fields of human development.

The University, Field Institutions, and Philanthropy (the operating unit that handles partner grants) work together to integrate the real grassroots and systemic knowledge to contribute to policy, research and continuing education.

Ten cohorts of over 3000 students from the programmes have graduated from the University and almost hundred percent of students from the of master’s programmes have received job offers on campus. Nearly 90 percent of these students have chosen to work in the social sector, many in grassroots field locations across the country.

The Universities are entirely philanthropic; currently, 89 percent of the expenditure is borne by the Foundation. Currently, about 60 percent of students are on scholarships offered by the University.

The student body is very diverse, from across 26 states and varied socio-economic backgrounds.

The University also produces a large collection of teaching-learning material for free public use. These include magazines on school subjects, development case studies, translations of higher education material, etc.

Health and expansion of domains of work, and new initiatives

The Foundation operates as an integrated organisation, with the Field Institutions, Philanthropy, and Universities as the three operating units working seamlessly together in a complementary manner. 

While the Foundation contributes to a large range of domains and issues of human well-being as mentioned, over 20 years of work in School Education has built deep expertise in that domain and it is now building Health as a similar domain of expertise and contribution.

The work in Health has started in Bengaluru and is being initiated in the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Odisha. This work will span from strengthen the public health system to running primary health clinics, secondary and tertiary hospitals, and medical colleges.

The launch of the Master of Public Health programme at the University in Bhopal is a definitive step towards strengthening the Foundation’s commitment to the cause of ensuring effective and affordable healthcare for all.

The Foundation is also collaborating with multiple partners, such as hospitals and NGOs, to make healthcare accessible to vulnerable communities and to improve community health.

The Foundation is also initiating new projects across multiple states in collaboration with the governments to strengthen the nutritional content of mid-day meals for children in government schools, run creches for infants and children below the age of 3 in some of the remotest geographies, and support through the government education system the improvement in the quality of learning in Madrasas.

Response to COVID-19 

The COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the lives of vulnerable communities have made health one of the priority areas for the Foundation’s work. It committed INR 2000 crore to the nationwide response to the challenges posed by COVID-19. Enabled by a team of over 1,10,000 people, in the past 2 years this response has included:

  • Providing 63 crore meals to 1.5 crore people across 27 states; enhancing access to livelihoods in rural and tribal areas: helping 90 lakh people with livelihood generation in 13 states.
  • Healthcare support across 100 districts to over 15 crore people by setting up over 10,000 oxygenated beds, 1,000 ICU beds and over 100 testing centres; and programme management.
  • Supporting the vaccination programme across 3800 PHCs, serving about 11 crore people, in some of the most disadvantaged locations.

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